No great things are done more through courage than through wisdom. German proverb
A careful analysis of history would reveal that all major victories in war were due the exemplary courage of the soldiers and the tactical acumen of the generals who led their forces. Similarly a scan of all the progresses made in science and technology would amplify the courage of conviction of scientist who passionately and diligently worked towards their intelligent hypothesis. If we introspect our own achievements and successes we would be bursting with pride at the key embolden steps we have taken in our lives like changing a job, taking on a big challenge and getting recognition for its success or simply being courageously patient till the opportunity came our way. While we may gloat at our own bravado and daring we would also slowly realise that at every stage we let our mind work overtime to help us decide on the appropriate course of action.
The common thread visible above is that without the wisdom of tactical acumen the sheer courage and daring shown would be useless. Remember the famous poem Charge of the Light Brigade that is testimony in verse to this reality. (Here a company of soldiers valiantly followed orders and perished simply because they were not given the right orders). The failure of battles, expeditions, business and economies can be traced to incorrect or fallacious conclusions based on which wrong decisions were taken which when executed even with passion and grit resulted in failure. There are times when retreating is the most ideal decision for then there is a hope for tomorrow although it might seem like a temporary setback. By merely pushing ones luck more in hope than with conviction or calculation, the wheels of failure are set in motion by ourselves. E.g. For a mountaineer, when faced with adverse weather conditions the peak that is in sight might be teasingly alluring but better wisdom would compel one to opt for abandoning the expedition than risking life and limb.
This is not to belittle the role of courage, for it has a vital role to play in ensuring victories. To begin with, all great plans remain plans till someone has the courage to execute it. In some cases, especially in battle, there are times when raw courage ends up in death for an individual but in the overall context of the battle it could be a decisive sacrifice that paves the way for victory. Moral courage and courage of conviction are perhaps the sternest test of courage. In both cases, often a person in a minority ahs to battle the collective wisdom and pressures of peer groups and even sometimes dodge through minefields of sabotage to prove their point and raise the victory flag. However, all these types of courage end up in victory / success only when it is firmly rooted in the wisdom born out of experience, intelligence and sound knowledge.
Remember: This wonderful Prayer — God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference
- Examine your irrational fears that you still find hard to overcome. E.g. Fear of dogs, snakes, lizards etc. or overcoming superstitions that we believe in etc. Now try to rationalize the fears so that you are prepared to accept that the fear is not as serious as you first thought. Attempt to overcome the fear by using both the understanding you have gained and by being courageous enough to try.
- Attempt to write your own ‘Epitaph’. This is real test of both courage and wisdom. (An Epitaph refers to the wordings written on a tomb stone of a person who is buried and which eulogises or highlights the qualities of that person for which he is remembered)
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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